The Disney Difference: Diversify and Cross Promote

dis earnFor the second time in as many days, a major global media company released results which suggested little adverse, or material, impact from either the writers’ strike or a feared slow down in advertising spending related to the economy.

As was the case with News Corp, Disney’s CFO Tom Staggs reported a “really strong ad market.” during Disney’s earnings call Tuesday.   Revenue at the Media Networks Division which houses ABC, ESPN and the other cable networks was $4.17b versus $3.79b for the same period a year ago.    Operating profit at ABC climbed to $322m, a 30% gain.  The rest of the cable networks had operating profits of $586m (up 27%).

Contrary to fears, the writers’ strike hasn’t had much teeth (so far).  Just the opposite, in the short term it may even be helping financially.  Click to Read More

Murdoch Speaks: The State of News Corp

news corp q2After the close of markets Monday, News Corp released their second quarter earnings.  The numbers, which are reported below, were very good on an operating level despite slightly missing profit expectations. Also, in a true rarity for this earnings season, the company raised its guidance for fiscal 2008 operating income. 

More insightful than the numbers was the analysts call and Q&A. Rupert Murdoch’s participation is a little like a light version of Warren Buffet’s famous annual meeting speeches.  Mr. Murdoch is at times frank, occasionally reserved but always on point and extremely well informed.  At one point, he even corrected one of his colleagues on the numbers. What follows are some of Murdoch’s comments on the News Corp empire, broken out by theme:

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Sony Gaming Back in Black, Future Earnings Hazy

sony earnsThanks to time zone differences, Sony was one of the first companies to report earnings on what is an extremely busy earnings calendar (Electronic Arts, New York Times Co.  Google, and Getty Images all report today as well).   As has been the case with many technology and consumer facing companies already to report, their results for the past quarter were moderate to positive but the gray cloud of overall economic conditions led to a cautious and hazy future forecast for the coming months (and year).

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Yahoo Q4 Earnings

yahoo patienceForget about “what have you done for me lately” (though that can’t be neglected); in these turbulent markets what matters more is “what are you going to do for me next.” Wall Street made that painfully clear when Apple released record earnings last week but was cautious in their forward guidance.  After Tuesday’s close of market, Yahoo received a similar message.  It was a little less blunt, the consequences a little less severe, but then, with Yahoo nobody had built up expectations to walk away impressed. 

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Raising the Bar: Nintendo Earnings Top Forecasts Again

nintendo earnsWhen you’ve got the two best selling products in an industry that just set new records for sales and revenues it’s pretty much a sure thing that your own numbers are going to be good.  On Thursday, Nintendo confirmed their numbers weren’t just good, they were great.

Net profits for the period from April to December nearly doubled, rising 96% year over year.  Income was 258.9b yen (approximately $2.4billion depending on the conversation rate), up from 131.9b yen ($1.23b) for the same period last year.  Sales were up 85% to 1.32 trillion yen from 712.59 billion yen last year.

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Netflix Q4 Earnings Recap

netflix calcVideo rental company, Netflix, released 4th quarter earnings Wednesday. Amidst a turbulent economy and increasing competition from both traditional and non traditional rivals. Netflix largely met or exceeded expectations.

The company earned $15.8m (24cents a share) for the quarter ended December 31st. Excluding stock based compensation, earnings were $17.8m (27cents/share) on revenue of $301.7m. Revenue was up 9% over the same period last year.

Wall Streets consensus expectation was 14cents a share on revenue of $301.7m.

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Wall Street Panics, Apple Pays: Measuring Q1 Earnings

measure appleWith markets in panic mode, the “R” word being used at the water coolers and the Fed pulling the ripcord on an emergency parachute, it was a bad day for any company to release earnings.  It was an especially bad day to share any comments that were cautionary, ambiguous, or anything but outrageously optimistic.  Apple shareholders paid the short term price.

Not five minutes into Apple’s earnings conference call After Hours traders, seizing on cautious, conservative lowered guidance, drove the stock down another ten percent.  The unfortunate thing is, the response is extreme, more a consequence of the economic climate than the actual news.

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